Friday 14 October 2016


We changed things a little on the fourth day of PARADOXPARADOX.

Following the chaotic intensity of the first three days, and I think also given the weird group gallery reset behaviour at the end of it, we switched modes a little for day four. On arriving we continued to clear up the space - taking down and dismantling work, sweeping detritus, gathering usable materials and throwing out the spent stuff. This was in itself quite cathartic, and felt like a calming midpoint process. There's something very satisfying about whitewashing presence and returning a surface back to it's resting state, even if it's your own work (although of course all work in the space is shared work, and we all shared in undoing it).

We gathered together and discussed next steps. It was an interesting point in the process, and I'm not going to laboriously document any of that here, the short version was that we were going to try and focus - physically and creatively.

Firstly we were going to now occupy just half of the space, instead of being spread out in the huge cavernous expanse of the gallery. Secondly, (and this is a big open-to-interpretation concept, this is my take), we were really being pushed towards more directly collaborative and considered, and trying to do/create/perform works that were slightly more geared towards permanence rather than the anarchic transience of the first days.

The day felt calmer, more focused. As process I still found it challenging, but this time in a more collaborative sort of way, poking at the space and it's contents together rather than bands of us stalking the gallery searching for the next thing.

There was some quite direct and confrontational conflict too. I'm not going to document my specific thoughts or opinions on this part, but it's a thing that happened. And, all things considered, I think clashes were inevitable. The space, the scenario, the mix of disciplines and personalities - all of these make for a significant challenge for us as people and as practitioners. I might revisit this when I get my head together after the dust settles. During it, as an observer with (I think) opinions on both sides, it felt uncomfortable. But the bottom line really is, we're there to be fucking uncomfortable, at least in part. If I wanted to remain comfortable I'd have stayed at home. Comfortable people don't fucking do anything.

In terms of my actual work, I was still working with projections and light, but this felt very collaborative this time. We were working in previously-shot footage, livecode, static, patterns and live video. Instead of flat projections we began working with physical layouts, using windows and objects and recursive camera feeds with time delays, which was really interesting. One of the core things I tried to do was set something up, and then consciously walk away from the computer and examine the light and movement and people in the space from many angles, heights, viewpoints. Others were also interrogating it constantly, with body movement, shadows, lights, structures. Often I spent a long time stood away from the whole thing just observing what other people were doing with the setup, which I found really valuable, especially when a few people begin interacting with the computer itself (which is what I hoped would happen).

I had a few visitors from the outside too, and it felt good to converse with them about what we've been up to, and where my head has been at. And, getting their insight into what this has looked like to them has been really interesting. If you're one of the people who I've spoken to over the last few days, thankyou.

Today is the final day. It's a slightly shorter one, and I feel more focused and very happy going in. I'm not sure if the intention was to ever have a 'plan' going into a day's practice, but I feel like the previous days have really given me a logical endpoint that I want to reach today - some from my personal work and experimentation, and actually most from the way in which others have interacted with the work.

Some more photos below. You know the deal, these are unedited and are only a small snapshot.

I'm feeling great today. Physically destroyed, bleary-eyed, but excited about everything.

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